Santa Margarita River Trail

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Fallbrook, California

Santa Margarita River Trail is a 5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Fallbrook, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 469 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

washed out

Note to horseback riders: Areas of the trail that are not horse-friendly (too rocky) are marked and alternative paths are available if your horse can cross shallow water.

Awesome hike for water fun. No real inclines until about half way out. Not too hard at all. Lots of fun to do with family. Great for any skill level.

walking
2 days ago

un lugar hermoso excelente para pasar el rato con seres amados. les invito a llevar a la familia son momentos que no se olvidan.

hiking
2 days ago

Snake!! There are rattlesnakes, so beware. We came across one huge one that camouflaged in the bushes. This was a great hike. We only hiked 3 miles though since we could not find the trail. It’s an easy hike and there is running water which is beautiful. Also shaded, so that’s a plus! Parking tends to fill up quickly so go early!

Easy hike, kid friendly. Don’t change diapers on the path please.

hiking
bugs
5 days ago

Great hike with small children. We hiked with an infant in carrier, an eight year old, and 6 year old. You are the shade over half the time but you are never in the sun for very long. Lots of wild life which the kids loved. The kids also loved the rock climbing and hanging out by the creek!

hiking
6 days ago

Lots of out of town and awful people recently, trash and shit everywhere, terrible music blasting, etc. This is a sensitive beautiful nature area but all of you are RUINING IT with your horrible disrespectful behavior. Do the river a favor and STAY AWAY. Or at least RESPECT THE LAND. It is more important than you.

hiking
7 days ago

Great trail been there several times but the last few weekends we have not been able to get in. Parking is only opened at 50% capacity and people are parking on the streets that are labeled “No Parking” The Park ranger monitoring the gate advised people not to park on street due to the signs and law enforcement is giving tickets and patrolling the area.

hiking
7 days ago

show up early!! parking is limited due to covid and already full by 8am

hiking
9 days ago

Trail was in very good condition. Pretty steady at the start, but the more you went then heard really thinned out. We sat down and had snacks at the halfway point with no one around. We did get confused at the viewpoints. You’re supposed to turn right and go away from the river uphill along what looks like a horse trail, which wasn’t marked very well and off the normal trail that the map shows. Took us a few times to figure it out. Outside of that, highly recommend. We’ll be back for this one again.

recorded Santa Margarita River Trail

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

Cool trail! Rough in some parts, but flat in most others! Shaded in many other parts as well. Watch out for the rattle snakes at this time. Came across an angry one on our trip! Worth it!

hiking
bugs
rocky
16 days ago

Good trail ! The beginning is kinda rough once you get to the rocks but other than that this is my favorite trail ! Still OPEN !!

hiking
16 days ago

Is it still closed? Or did it reopen?

2 months ago

closed 3/28 due to rain and covid 19 until further notice

hiking
2 months ago

Very peaceful, not hard at all. There is one part where you have to go over some rocks.

hiking
closed
muddy
2 months ago

The parking lot is closed but you can park on the side of the road if you drive over the bridge

hiking
off trail
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Easier trail than anticipated. There is heavy traffic on the trail and minimal parking- so watch out on weekends. Many spots to stop. Bring a lunch and water. There is partial shade on the trail.

hiking
flooded
2 months ago

Great trail but it was flooded today after tons of rainfall during the week. Most of it was closed off. Still worth it if youre looking for a bit of nature.

hiking
closed
muddy
no shade
over grown
rocky
washed out
2 months ago

Both times I visited, a car had been vandalized, with windows broken, and Items stolen!!! The parking lot was full and it was not a weekend. Trail was covered in dog poop with empty water bottles and tons of trash. Not really a hike, more like a walk. Wouldn't recommend!!!!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Kids ages 12-15 and 2 adults. Great for all shaded trail makes me believe this would be a good year-round trail. Follows the stream and has some nice rest stops. We got to rock hop in the stream among some giant granite boulders. People on the trail and a few dogs on leash but not overly crowded

hiking
3 months ago

Drove half and hour from Temecula to hike here. The one and only entrance is supposed to open at 8am. Arrived at 8:15 and was locked. No roadside parking. Waited till 8:45 still locked. Several other people waiting and frustrated.

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